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Don Aguillo collaborating with Kulintang Arts, Inc. (KulArts)

Award: $40,000 Visual Arts grant awarded in 2016

To be presented: Mid-2018

Illustrator Don Aguillo, illustrator/writer Raf Salazar, and Kulintang Arts, Inc. (KulArts) collaborated to create Isugid Pinoy!, spotlighting untold stories of everyday Pilipino heroes who live or work in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. Aguillo and Salazar created five graphic novel-style stories published in two anthology comic books that are available in print and online, as well as six large posters and nine banners based on the comic book that neighborhood Pilipino organizations can exhibit in their storefront windows. This project is rooted in the adventures of an indigenous Pilipino pantheon of supreme beings. Traditional tales frame stories of contemporary leaders in San Francisco’s Pilipino community. Aguillo, Salazar, and KulArts’ staff worked with key neighborhood organizations, offering free graphic arts workshops and gathering participants’ ideas for local heroes to feature and their favorite Pilipino folktales. A substantial Isugid Pinoy comic book was produced by mid-2018, and the project has continued since its publication.

Don Aguillo is an artist and illustrator with years of experience in production design, pre-visualization, and traditional art. He has worked with other artists and commercial gaming clients to design original characters for graphic novels and games. Raf Salazar is a concept artist for games, and an illustrator and writer for online comics.

KulArts presents contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts as well as participatory art-making activities.

Illustration: Penance by Don Aguillo